D.C. Wideout Chooses Penn State

On Tuesday night, Penn State received a verbal commitment from <b>James McDonald</b> from Dunbar High School in Washington D.C. James, who took an official visit to State College this past weekend, chose PSU over offers from Boston College, Notre Dame, Kansas, Utah, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Connecticut.

Name: James McDonald
Position: WR
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 180 pounds
40-Yard dash: 4.6 seconds
School: Dunbar HS, Washington, DC


James called Coach Larry Johnson on Tuesday evening to tell him the good news. He called and spoke with Joe Paterno on Wednesday.

"I knew I wanted to go there after I took my visit," James said. "I always heard that you get a special feeling when the college is right for you and I just felt that that was the perfect place for me.

"They were recruiting me hard. They were the first school to offer me. Midway through the process, they kind of stopped contacting me and I kind of thought that they started losing interest, but it was just a miscommunication, so we got back on track and we got it done."

McDonald took an official visit to Kansas earlier this month and had been contemplating an official visit to Notre Dame before he decided to end the process and commit to Penn State.

"I really kind of liked Kansas. It's an up and coming program. They're probably going to be good in a couple of years. They're a couple of playmakers away, but it was just too far for my family to come and travel to see me. Notre Dame, after they fired Tyrone Willingham, it kind of hurt my feelings because that didn't show loyalty to me in the organization."

What did the Nittany Lion coaching staff say they liked about him?

"They just said they like my great hands, my great routes and that I'm a playmaker."

Was there anything they wanted him to work on?

"They said they would like to develop my speed and get my strength up, get me more solid, put my weight up."

How many wide-receivers is PSU hoping to sign this coming February?

"They're trying to get four. They have two as of now, me and Kevin Cousins, and they're trying to land Derrick Williams."

The coaching staff believes McDonald can contribute early in his Penn State career.

"They said it's very possible that I'll get a lot of early playing time because he wants me to come in and challenge the receivers that are there because they only have two scholarship wide receivers and three that were walkons."

Did Joe Paterno say how long he'd be coaching at PSU?

"No, but he said he's trying to work out a deal so they can guarantee him when he does retire that it would be somebody within the Penn State coaching staff already."


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